‘Stop politics of acrimony’
The latest Congress crisis in mind, the politician in him was not reconciled to the mudslinging at the national stage for quite some time. Union Law Minister and one of the present trouble-shooters of the UPA Government, Salman Khurshid, for a change, preached politics of reconciliation with the Congress fire-fighting the fresh attack, this time on Robert Vadra.
Khurshid’s observation came while replying to a question at an interactive session on ‘Ideological Literature: Dead or Alive?” on the second and last day of the Odisha Literary Festival, organised by The New Indian Express, on Saturday. Khurshid was in conversation with noted academic and JNU Professor Pushpesh Pant. The session was moderated by Prabhu Chawla, Editorial Director of The New Indian Express.
The Law Minister strongly advocated a different approach to politics. “I wish, in politics, instead of yelling at each other, we should reconcile,” he said and thanked The New Indian Express Group for giving a platform for exchange of ideas.
He justified the Congress swinging into the defence of Sonia’s son-in-law Robert Vadra, who is under a cloud following allegations by social activist Arvind Kejriwal against him. “When the purpose of picking up someone for attack is to hit the leader of the party, we will obviously come out to defend or else we will be cowards,” he said.
Asserting that the politics of acrimony would take the nation nowhere, Khurshid batted for respect to each other’s ideological conviction. Drawing liberally from history, Khurshid was critical of the Left parties as well as the Right. The Left, he said, looks similar to the Congress, but behaves differently and even hobnobbed with the Right on several occasions. “When the matter of ideology comes, they (Left) hate us. The Left had powerful voices, but did not reach the villages of India, but we (Congress) reached the villages of India,” he said.
However, when he was drawn into the question of a successor, Khurshid refused to name the next prime minister in the event of Congress retaining power. But he left little room for speculation. Though not forthcoming on such issues as is his wont, Khurshid’s remark came on persistent queries by Prabhu Chawla. Khurshid was emphatic that someone younger than him may don the mantle of PMship in future. And that ‘someone’ (read Rahul Gandhi) would be from the Gandhi family.
However, he did not open up further on the issue.
To another query by Chawla whether there was an ideological contradiction between the statements of Rahul Gandhi, who spoke about two Indias in Odisha, and Manmohan Singh, for whom there is only one India, Khurshid denied it is so.
“When Rahul speaks of two Indias, he is meaning the millions of people who will be in stress if the growth will not be inclusive. When the Prime Minister was speaking of one India, he was speaking of inclusive growth,” Khurshid sought to explain.